Peel the garlic and remove the inner stem. Cut two cloves into quarters, and finely chop one garlic clove and put aside for the moment. With a sharp knife, cut slices in the surface of the meat and place the quartered cloves deep into them. Wash the carrots and celery and cut into pieces. Put the meat and vegetables, as well as the spices and chopped clove of garlic into a bowl and pour wine over the mixture. The pieces of meat should be completely covered with wine. Cover the bowl with foil and let it marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
On the following day, take the meat out of the wine and dab it well with kitchen roll. Tie the pieces of meat tightly together with kitchen string (three times over the length and three times over the width). Rub the meat with salt, pour a little oil over it and season with pepper. In a hot pan with a thick base, fry each side of the meat for a couple of minutes so that the pores on the surface close. By doing this, as well as by tying them together, the pieces of meat stay tender inside. The meat should be at room temperature when it is placed in the pan.
Braising and sauce:
Now pour the marinade and vegetables over the meat and let it simmer with a closed lid for at least three hours at low heat. Turn occasionally. After this time, take out the pieces of meat, cut open and remove the kitchen string with a pair of scissors. Keep the meat warm. Strain the sauce and reheat it in a saucepan, adding some water depending on taste. Mix the potato starch with 2 tsp of cold water and add to the sauce, allowing it to thicken a little. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the meat into 1 cm thick slices and place on preheated plates. Pour the Barolo sauce over it and serve. Traditionally, creamy polenta or mashed potatoes are served as a side dish for Brasato al Barolo. I personally like this braised beef, especially when it is not so cold outside, with basmati rice. Admittedly, very un-Italian, but still delicious!